Michael Roque Collins


Since childhood my work has been influenced by subtropical vegetation and steamy smoldering atmospheres of my Gulf Coast surroundings.  These permeate the very essence of my creative being.  Nature, human form, petrochemical industrial vistas and classical architectural structures are transformed in my work as metaphors representing my poetic vision of our splenetic era.


Visions and dreams connect these metaphoric subjects in a synergistic manner generating a creative web encompassing our human condition.  Current works reveal a familiar world originating in the depths of my Gulf Coast surroundings and are inspired by various psychological states.  Spaces of the Sacred and Profane and Gardens of Terrible Beauty are two ongoing series of paintings revealing psychological states of the tragic glory that is at the core of our shared human experience.

A wide variety of influences have informed the foundation of my current painting.  Specific connections exist in the works of Max Beckmann, Charles Burchfield and the works of The Hudson River School.  My use of light, value, color and line are my own; however, early exposure to their works influenced my development as an artist.  Romantic notions regarding light in nature and the importance of the human condition revolve around the center of my creative vision.  An increasing peripheral influence includes varied ritual forms from the history of primitive art.  These artifacts suggest a realm where the mundane often stands for supernatural beliefs rooted in the immediacy of our natural surroundings and the rhythms of daily life.  Their strength and directness are influencing the manner of my expression.

Light, beauty, fear, isolation and a regard for nature’s cyclic destructive rhythms are specific themes present in my painting.  In addition, continued travel is providing a rich source of religious, mythological and classical references, which are currently feeding my most recent paintings.  These “new” forms as metaphors are enabling a personal mythology to develop -- one, which illuminates the paradoxes of life and is clearly centered in the garden of humankind, a garden which is both beautiful and simultaneously defiled by collective greed and power struggles.


Propelling my thoughts is the feeling that my art must directly connect to my life’s experiences.  All aspects of life and death must play a role in forming the nature of future works.  At the end of her life, Kathe Kollwitz once stated, “I am satisfied that my work means something.”  I believe that if I follow the quiet inner voice of concern that has guided my past actions as an artist, my future work will also speak clearly and honestly regarding my perspective on the human condition.  At life’s end, I hope also to exclaim that my work has not been mere decoration but instead has value through content and execution.  May my future work stand as evidence communicating the terrible beauty of our time and the creative struggles required to maintain honesty.